Morris uses Elite 11 as learning experience
March, 25, 2012
By William Wilkerson | ESPN.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Michigan quarterback commitment Shane Morris fought back tears as he sat on the padded cushion just in front of the field-level suites at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday.
He didn’t have to be in Dallas for the Elite 11 Regional. He could have easily waited for the camp in Columbus, Ohio, on May 4 to try and get an invitation to the Elite 11 finals in Redundo Beach, Calif.
But, being the competitor that he is, Morris flew down to the first of the six regional camps to try and get the first.
When that invitation went to Dallas Skyline’s Devante Kincade, Morris couldn’t help but be disappointed in himself.
“I could have done better at everything,” Morris said. “I didn’t do what I needed to do. I lacked in everything. I had a bad day.”
If the invitation was given to the player with the most energy, Morris would have gotten it hands down. He fired through the warm-up drills like Brady Hoke was in the stands assessing his every move.
Former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, who coached the camp, even called Morris’ name to break the guys out of a huddle after a series of speeches, which included one from Tony Romo.
But Morris simply wasn’t as smooth and efficient as he wanted to be through the array of drills placed in front of him and the competition. In fact, six quarterbacks were chosen to compete in a two-minute drill at the end of the camp and he was left off the list.
He wasn’t left out because of a lack of arm strength, but perhaps because of too much power behind his spiral. Receivers were often unable to haul in his passes simply because of the velocity he threw behind them.
“The touch on my pass is definitely something I need to work on,” Morris said. “I rely on my arm strength a lot.”
Morris said he hasn’t played baseball in a while but imagines he could throw 90 miles per hour right now. Anyone who saw him throw Saturday wouldn’t doubt that. There are several major league bullpens that would love to have his left arm in late inning situations.
Anyone who saw him Saturday, or who has seen him play in general, also won’t doubt the likelihood that he’ll eventually end up with that coveted invitation. Twenty-four will be handed out before the field is eventually dwindled down to 11.
He’ll be in Columbus on May 4 to try and pick it up.